Blogs from South America

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South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 23rd 2014

After having met so many people on our travels who spoke highly of Bolivia and the Salt Flats we decided to do a mini detour and go north from Argentina to south west bolivia then work our way down chile to our final destination Santiago. We were somewhat stressed at the journey, Bolivia being as it is there is very little information online and no such thing as bus timetables. We knew that we had to take the bus to the argentinian border town then physically walk across to the neighbouring bolivian border town called Villazon where we would get either a bus or a train to the town we had to get to - Uyuni. We had differing information about how to best get there and even at one point were close to not taking ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito April 23rd 2014

Hola from Quito, Ecuador! So, I am finally in South America yay!My flight arrived in the middle of the night so I was picked up by Omar and his wife from my hostel and they took me to my room (trying desperately not to wake everyone up!) My first day in Quito I went on a walking tour of the city, led my the lovely Obi. My hostel is situated right next to the Old Town so we got to see so many beautiful buildings, I just wanted to take pictures of everything! First of all, we visited the market and saw some different looking fruits. I treated myself to a smoothie which was lovely. After, we walked around the city and went inside one of the many churches. So beautiful inside. We were then brought ... read more
Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús
Mitad del Mundo
The more accurate equstor 'line'

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 23rd 2014

From the day I left El Chalten back in March I'd been looking forward to the trip across the Altplano from San Pedro in Chile to Uyuni in Bolivia. I'd booked the trip before I left the UK because I'd heard that entering Argentina without proof of exit could present problems. Booking in advance had also helped to focus my planning by fixing some dates at around the halfway stage of my trip. The Altiplano would therefore be something of a watershed moment - not just in relation as to where it fits in to my itinerary but also in crossing this great natural barrier: I would be leaving behind the southern part of South America and moving on to a new country and culture. It's possible to cover the 530 kilometres between San Pedro and ... read more
Laguna Verde (I think)
Another Day Another Thermal Pool
Lago Colorado


Our last minute trip to Bolivia was probably the best last minute decision I have made and I would maybe go as far as to say the highlight of our trip to date. The company we went with was fantastic and everything was well planned and organised and exceeded my already high expectations. Meeting at the office at 1030am we were met with lts of other travellers going on the same trip. There were 4 jeeps in our convoy but it was more like being split in 2 as there was 1 guide per 2 vehicles. Our jeep had 6 tourists (us 2, 2 english girls and a girl from hungary) as well as the driver and the guide. The other jeep was all australian minus a girl from italy. We got on really well with ... read more
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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Puerto Natales April 21st 2014

Watery Labyrinth Depending on your timing, a journey on the Navimag Ferry can be a romantic ride through the breathtaking fiords in Chilean Patagonia, or it can be a wild, roller coaster of storms with furniture flying across the room and passengers green at the gills. I was (un)lucky enough to have the latter, but then again, challenging experiences can bond friends forever and make a great story. A stretch of several hundred kilometers of Chilean Aisen is fractured into a labyrinth of fiords, channels, islands and dead-ends, and crossed by no roads. Thus, to go north, I needed to either fly or take a ferry. When I flew to Buenos Aires in 2010, I decided to return to California only by bus, boat and train for a greater adventure and to make the smallest carbon ... read more
layers receeding into the distance
almost full moon and a bit of blue sky
heeling over and not the worst of it

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South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre April 21st 2014

Days 62-63 After our 14 hr nightmare bus ride our hostel kindly allowed us all into our rooms for a hot shower which seemed to revive us enough to go our for an orientation walk of the colonial heart of the city. While for practical purposes La Paz is the capital of Bolivia it's official capital is Sucre & was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991 due to its immaculately preserved colonial architecture. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning its nickname - the 'White City' & are actually required to be whitewashed annually. Sucre seems a much more prosperous place than elsewhere to date with ornate museums and churches to browse. The heart of the city centres around the Plaza de Mayo and has a nice atmosphere although very quiet ... read more
San Francisco Cathedral Plaza de Mayo
Monastery Cloisters
Monastery Fresco

South America » Peru » Cusco » Pisac April 21st 2014

It is starting to become a challenge to remember the sequence of events for each day. While I thought this blog would be an efficient way to record things rather than write them in a journal, it is very easy to leave it for a couple of days on the pretext that I don't want to bore everyone to death! Of course, then when I go to write to you all I can't remember how many things have happened and when - oh the pain of being on holidays LOL! Having said that, I have had some great experiences over the last 3 days that I can share with you. On Good Friday our Brazilian friend Gabby was having her last day before heading home. She was keen to see some of the Churches before leaving ... read more
Disappointment
Good Friday
Lunch

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago April 20th 2014

Nothing is constant in this world except for change. I came here with the expectation that I'd teach for 5 months, move back home, and move on with my life and career. Yet here I am almost exactly 2 months into my time in Chile, and all of that has changed. I'm now staying here for 10 months (maybe a little longer if I can afford to travel when I finish teaching), then I will be moving back home to move on with my life and career, but in a much different and more positive way than I originally envisioned. I have decided and made the commitment to remain here to teach for the entire school year and while it was a decision I really agonized over, all along I've known it's the right choice for ... read more
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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén April 19th 2014

PATAGONIA: El Chalten...Drive in the front...Blown out the back. If you want a reason to come to Argentinian Patagonia...El Chalten is a must. The famous images of the front of the Fitz Roy & Torre Ranges from that funky town are known to many. Breathtaking in any language. But have you seen what's out the back...behind those famous peaks? No public transport going that way...but with a 4WD...now you're cookin'. ****** We slept well at La Siberia Estancia...Patagonian winds whipping across the soda lake and through the crack in the window like a knife slicing the darkness...then heavy rain...clear blue sky greeting the morning. Fun hot breakfast with the Uruguayan bikers and Julia's cakes...hitting Ruta 40 full of dirty puddles spraying the windscreen...exciting to continue South. Then it started snowing. Passing snow topped cones maybe volcanoes... ... read more
SNOW TOPPED CONES
WELCOME TO EL CHALTEN
MAGICAL BIRD'S EYE VIEW

South America » Peru » Cusco » La Convención » Quillabamba April 19th 2014

We were to go to a nearby school and give fluoride treatments for the students, but when we got to town the dentist had been called away on an emergency. So we drove out of town to check out another section of the Inca trail to see how much it had overgrown since it was last clear a month before. We trekked through the brush and then found the Inca road. I couldn't believe that it had ever been cleared, and maybe in the end it had been a different section, because it seemed that the trail didn't match the GPS readings. Then we returned home for lunch. After lunch was the weekly cleaning of our home. We take out the hoses and brooms and brush the soap and water down the slope of the house ... read more
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